Toxic air from China shrouds South Korea; pollution hazard to stay high

It is forecasted that dust concentration in the air will remain hazardous throughout Monday

Smog in China
Picture for representation Reuters

South Koreans were destined to start off the New Year by breathing toxic air for no fault of theirs. A thick blanket of toxic haze that descended from China shrouded most parts of South Korea on 1 December, said a report by a Korean daily news website.

It was also forecast that fine dust concentration in the air will remain hazardous throughout Monday in Seoul, reported The Chosun Ilbo. According to the National Institute of Environmental Research, other places which are affected by the toxic air are Chungcheong, Gangwon, North Gyeongsang and North Jeolla provinces.

It was also reported that the institute predicted the dust concentration will slightly reduce on Tuesday. However, the air will become normal only on Wednesday after the wind changes direction.

People have been urged to stay indoors as much as possible and patients of cough or sore throat have been advised not to go outside.

Meanwhile, a red alert has been issued in 24 cities in China, including main cities in Hebei Province, Henan Province and Shandong Province, following a sharp decline in air quality. Not only this, China's capital Beijing and major port city Tianjin have and 19 other metropolises and cities issued orange alert. Sixteen other cities are also on yellow alert after the air was detected to contain severe pollutants.